Being the long and unique periods of history that have particular features or characteristics, eras in the Western History marked major divisions of time and were subdivided into distinct periods as well. This being said, according to John P Mckays book The History of Modern Civilization, the Postclassical Era is considered to be the period with the greatest influences on the modern day contemporary world. The reason why this is so is that this particular era was characterized by the various major trend that drastically changed the world from what was considered the classical civilizations to the Modern Period. In this regard, the Postclassical Era experienced various significant trends and developments which, in essence, directed the medieval world into becoming what it is today.
To begin with, the Postclassical Era saw the expansion and the growth of civilization that span into new areas such as Asia, Europe, Western and South America, as well as the greater part of Mesoamerica. For instance, while an entirely different political system, the feudalism, was applied in Western Europe, the isolated Americas and Mesoamerica, during this era, saw the construction of the Aztec Empire. In the same vein, the Andean region of South America saw the establishment of the Inca Empire, which marked one of the greatest empires both in the ancient and in the modern day worlds.
Additionally, the Postclassical Era saw substantial influence in our modern day contemporary world due to the growth and geographical spread of a majority of world religions across the word. For example, during this era, Islam became the most successful religion while Christianity, on the other hand, followed closely into various areas such as the Baltic area, ousting almost all the old pagan religions. With reference to the religious influence in the contemporary world, this era saw the split of the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe and the Catholic Church to the East. These divisions, in essence, substantially encouraged both religious and cultural diversities in the Eurasia. Similarly, Buddhism, which is a common religion in India and China today, flourished as a religion as well. Thus, despite the fact that Islam was the most common and most influential religion at the time, the modern day world substantially benefits from the geographical spread and growth of major religions in the sense that, most of these major religions are still, to the modern day today, the most prevalent religions in the aforementioned world regions.
Finally, the breakdown of the Roman society, which is a significant characteristic of this Postclassical Era, is also considered to be of great influence to the modern day today world. It is during the 5th and the 8th centuries that new and powerful people took positions that filled the political void that had been left by the centralized Roman societys government. As a result, communication and trade all across the world and especially across the Afro-Eurasia increased rapidly. Therefore, this can be said to be of substantial influence to the contemporary world in the sense that, the Silk Road increasingly spread cultures and ideas through trade, across the world (McKay, 2007). This spread of cultures and ideas, in turn, modified and influenced the modern day world, giving different kinds of people a sense of identity and a creation of the existing trade networks.
In conclusion, better known as the pre-modern era, the Postclassical Era is characterized by numerous changes which range from the growth and spread of the worlds modern day worlds to the expansion and drastic change in civilization. In my opinion, these changes are considered the most prevalent once in the contemporary world, and hence making this particular era the one with the greatest influence in the modern world.
McKay, J. P. (2007). A history of Western society: Vol. A. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
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